Dandenong Ranges

If you are visiting Melbourne and want to experience the Australian bush, there is no better place to go for a day's outing than the Dandenong Ranges, to the east of Melbourne. An area of gently rolling hills covered in at times dense forest interspersed by farms, orchards and picturesque villages, the Dandenongs became popular with tourists from the 1870s onwards.

Scenic drives through the Ranges are just as popular today and are the best way to see and appreciate all that the Dandenongs have to offer. The Ranges are rich in wildlife with 130 native bird species, 31 native mammals, 21 reptiles and nine amphibian species recorded; these hills are the Lyrebird's most favoured habitat.

How To Get There

Location: 40 km east of Melbourne.

Visiting by car, drive from Melbourne via Burwood Highway or Canterbury Road (approximately 1 hour). Alternatively, take the train to Upper Ferntree Gully or Belgrave station.

If you are not driving a car, you can visit the Dandenongs on day trips offered by coach tour operators, or take the train from Melbourne to Belgrave for a ride through the bush on the heritage narrow gauge Puffing Billy train.

Best Time To Go

As Victoria has a temperate climate, there is no one season or month that the visitor needs to avoid, except perhaps summer (December - February), if you find hot weather unbearable. In and around Melbourne, which gets more cloud and disturbed weather despite a lower rainfall, sunshine hours per day in winter (June - August) are three to four as against seven to eight in summer. Cold spells are brief and never severe on the coast, and temperatures can drop much lower inland in winter.

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Activities

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